Library/16th Century/Thomas Erastus, Disputationum de medicina nova Philippi Paracelsi pars prima (1571)
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|Thomas Erastus, Disputationum de medicina nova Philippi Paracelsi pars prima|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Thomas Erastus: Disputationum de medicina nova Philippi Paracelsi pars prima, Basel , p. 233-241|
|Digital copy:||Google Books (02Q8AAAAcAAJ)|
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[De cœli astrorumq́ue potestate & efficientia.]
[p. 233] Fvr[nivs]. Ego nunquam magnificè de hac arte sensi, propterea quod à Philosophis irrisam, à Theologis explosam, à sacris literis execratam, ab Imperatoribus damnatam ab Intelligentibus omnibus neglectam animaduerti. Noster quoque Theophrastus hanc sæpè repræhendit, ac plenè, vt videtur, nunquam didicit. Quippe aliam quam Græcanicam seu Ptolemaicam Astrologiam commendat. Sanè in Paragr[ano][m 1] minatur Astronomiam & artem Calendariorum abijciendam. “Astra cœli,” scribit in eodem, “non inprimunt in hominem, sed Deus astra hominis fecit, vt cœlestia imitentur.” Alibi negat rationem & prudentiam, quam in nobis cœlum regat, à Deo proficsci, quod ratio à Deo creata non subijciatur cœlo, sed ei imperet. Memini & supra me locum ex lib[ro] de Fatuis citare, in quo incertam & imperceptibilem affirmat. Idem de Lunat[icis]. “Constat ex his,” inquit, “Astrologiæ falsitas ac eorum qui ex genitura iudicant.” In Præsagijs negat, vitia astris ascribenda. Nónne Diabolus se acutè in Astronomiam insinuauit, vt stellarum loco se venditet, atque in ipso fundentur iudicia? Ita asturè nouit celare, vt huc vsque in summo precio fuerit: suaq́ue Sapientibus ita latenter inspirauit, vt cœlo, domibus, aspectibus, coniunctionibus attribuerint. Hæc, inquam, & similia probant eum non tantum adscribere Astrologiæ, quantum plerique putant.
Er[astvs]. Si perstitisset in sententia, laudaremus. Verùm tibi dico, vix vllam in eo sententiam esse, cui non flagitiose & impudenter contradixerit. In proposito aliquot productis locos ostendam,[m 2] vt nulla in re credendum ei intelligas, qui se ipsum mendacij in omnibus improbissimè passim accusat. Sa- [p. 234] nè in eodem libro Astrologiam prorsus astruit, tantum iuxta stellas spiritus esse contendit, qui se comites nato adiungant, cumq́ue ducant quo velint. Oportere itaque spiritus hos, & genituræ figuram Astrologum coniungere vt rectè diuinet. Videtur legisse Iamblichi detestanda figmenta aliorumq́ue Platonicorum blasphemias, & ex illis fecem exsuxisse. Proinde Astronomiæ partes seu species quinque statuit, inter quas Magiam & Necromatiam collocat, omnesq́ue naturalies licitas & veras: atque versa mox pagina per infernales solum spiritus adimpleri expressè ait. An vllus à condito mundo extitit, qui spiritu vertiginis impuriore exerceretur? Nunc cœlum inclinare solum, mox cogere: iam non occidere sed insaniam solum adferre, paulo pòst Dominum & Rectorem esse vitæ mortisq́ue, occidere, pestémque inducere ait. In Planetarum dominbus fabros esse, à quibus omnes artes doceantur, excepta Iusticia & Theologia. Alibi astra ratione vti, ædificare, atque alias artes exercere. De peste cœlum, irasci, odisse, amare instar hominum, neque vnquam lædere nisi offensum. De fabris fatuorum supra diximus. Alibi se à Deo Medicum factum, non à cœlo, cum ars ex Deo sit, non ex cœlo: alibi contra à stellis se edoctum asserit: nonnullis etiam in locis Diabolos Præceptores agnoscit. Ego sanè quiduis agere malim, quam ipsius ineptias transcribere. Non puto sub cœlo tam esse aliquem patientem, qui non indignetur cum prodigiosas & portentosas contradictiones toties sibi occurrentes habet. Valeat ergo cum sua Astrologia profanus ille Tenebrio, suisq́ue discipulis venena hæc æternam inferentia mortem propinet: pio nulli offerat. Cæterùm quia prima hæc velitatio nostra opinione mea longius durauit, tempus omninò est, vt receptui canamus. Quod declarandum susceperam, declaratum est:[m 3] Solum Deum creatorem esse vniuersi: & res creatas cun- [p. 235] ctas à creatis facultatibus vniuersis & singulis aliter mutari non posse, qua, pro materiæ potentia, quæ in creatione indita fuit. Hanc porrò potentiam, quam alij rationem seminalem nominant, Tametsi non vnica est in re qualibet, (ideoq́ue res singulæ à diuersis agentibus diuerse afficiuntur ac mutantur) sine motu & alteratione in actum traduci aut permutari non posse ab vlla creata virtute, euidenter demonstraui. Quod enim vel præter insitam in materia potentiam, vel absque motu & successione repentè sit, miraculosum esse docui. Et miracula ab ea sola virtute edi, quæ nouas in materiam inserere potentias, hoc est, quæ creare potest, commonstraui. Post hæc & illud probaui, miracula neque à naturali proprietate, neque à potestate siderum neque à vitibus animæ seu Imaginationis, neque à Diabolicis Euestris apud Tartareos natis, neque Medicinæ artis opera, neque Magiæ vllius potentia effici posse. Ex quibus id, cuius causa præsens disputatio suscepta primum fuit, perspicitur, remedia omnia, quæ supra naturæ suæ proprias & congenitas facultates agunt aut promittunt aliquid, vana esse, falsa, superstitiosa, impia, fugienda & execranda. Quare sub certo siderum positu, aut verborum siue notorum siue ignotorum admurmauratione, aut ceremoniarum certarum vsurpatione collecta, præparata, formata, picta, efficta, sculpta, scripta, appensa, suspensa, defossa, abiecta, admota, intra corpus sumpta, aut alio quouis modo cincinnata & vsurpata, omnia hæc, inquam, si per hos modos virium aliquid adipisci credantur, aut efficere aliquid putentur amplius, quam per naturam suam præstant, grauissimè conscientiam vulnerant, pietatem labefactant, bonas Dei creaturas adulterant & infamant, contumeliosa in Devm [p. 236] sunt, ideoq́ue velut Diabolica fugienda, vitanda, conspuenda, detestanda sunt pijs omnibus: ac Paracelso & discipulis talia probantibus relinquenda. Verba, voces, signa, characteres, figuras, Imagines, si rerum vires augere, aut per se mirabilia operari ponantur, initi cum Dæmonibus pacti contractæq́ societatis signa esse clarè patuit. Inuitati talibus, quod possunt, faciunt, vt in æternum exitium præcipitent talia consectantes. Coegit nos ipsa rerum tractatio, sparsim incredibilem impietatem, horrendas blasphamias, portentosam temeritatem Tenebrionis maledicentissimi inaudita rabie in bona, vera, sancta omnia inuadentis conuellereq́ue nitentis retegere, quò à pestilentissimo omnium mortalium imprudentiores sibi facilius caueant. Mendacissimum & impudentissimum impostorem fuisse omnes testificantur eius libri: omnes præterea homines, quibus vel mediocriter notus fuit.
[De uita & moribus Paracelsi nonnulla.]
Equidem his elogijs cum ornare iustis de causis solitus fuit Ferdinandus Imperator optimus, & à maledicentia alienissimus, vt mihi retulit vir excellentissima eruditione & pietate ornatiss[imus] D[ominus] Iohannes Crato,[m 4] Cæsareæ Maiestatis Medicus. Consentaneè suis principijs & Præceptoribus Tartarum in morbos inuexit, cum Tartarea sint, et ex imo Tartaro eruta prolataq́ue videantur propemodum, quæ scripsit, vniuersa. Argumento est, quod inter dictandum solitus fuit velut œstro percitus & furijs agitatus instar Pythiæ cuiusdam vatis exardescere ac vociferari, Dæmone nimirum plaustra illa conuiciorum & δοξομανίαν monstrosam suggerente, quam sanus excogitare nunquam potuisset. Retulit hæc sæpe D[ominus] Oporinus ἀξιοπιστώ τατος, qui Amanuensis eius fuit per biennium. Idem affirmatè sæpè narrauit, nunquam nisi benè potum ad mysteria sua explicanda accessisse: & in medio hypocausto columnæ τετυφωμένον, adeoq́ue numine suo plenum [p. 237] assistentem, manibus capulo ensis comprehenso, (Quod eius κοίλωμα hospitium præberet ei spiritui, qui vitro inclusus responsa fascinatis à se hominibus dare solet) eructare suas imaginationes consueuisse. Superauit inconstantia, impudentia, temeritate, & prodigiosa impietate Arianos, Photinianos, Mahometanos, Hæreticos denique Tartareos omnes. Hunc ne tu propter pietatem anteferendum castis authroibus Galeno & Hippocrati, hominibus Ethnicis, & proinde veræ pietatis ignaris porrò censebis? Lapsi sunt illi, quia instituti à nemine fuerunt: Hic autem rectè instructus volens, sciens, prudens, ex mera petulantia & nouandi libidine ea docuit, scripsit, inculcauit, quæ illi vix ausi fuissent cogitare, si vel scintillam Diuinæ lucis huius habuissent. Sed finem facio, vt ad id, quod consequens est, aggrediamur, & quam eleganter præclareq́ue philosophatus sit pari diligentia consideremus.
Fvrn[ivs]. Oro te maiorem in modum, vt iam dictis de vita hominis, si quid præterea comperti habes, auctarij vice adijcias. Suspicor enim te aliquid scire, quod in eadem ferè patria nati ambo sitis.
Er[astvs]. Boni nihil possum, mali plurimum. De curationibus eius, quæ à viris fide dignissimis & exceptione maioribus accepi in sequentibus recensebo. Nunc aliquid eorum attingam, quæ magis huc spectant. Heluetium fuisse vix credo. Vix enim ea Regio tale monstrum ediderit. Si edidit, non diu fouit. Certè non reperitur vnus aliquis in tota Heluetia, qui vel affinitate vel necessitudine alia coniunctus ei fuerit. Terræ seu Tartari videtur filius instar Merlini cuiusdam fuisse. Vocat se Eremitam, & nobilis vult videri. At in Eremo Heluetiorum nulli sunt Paracelsi, nulli Hohenhemij, nulli Bombasti, nulli denique vel nobiles vel ignobiles, qui eum vt sanguine iunctum agnoscant. Audiui Pædagogum ibi aliquando vixisse hominem exterum, & quo natus ille sit, in lo- [p. 238] co, qui vocatur altus nidus, (Pessimum fuisse tunc nidum oportet, ex quo tam mala prodijt auis.) Vnde fortasse Paracelsum se nominauit. Huius vocis compositio, vt est admirabilis, sic & author eius est mirabilis. Patrem suum scribit alicubi per annos 14. vixisse in Carinthia, aut vicinis regionibus. Hoc in loco, narratum mihi est exectos ei testes fuisse à milite, dum anseres pasceret: Inde cum adultior factus fuisset in Hispaniam abijsse, ibiq́ue Magicis prius initiatum, Chymicam didicisse: à qua cum operam & oleum se in ea exercenda perdere animaduertisset, ad Medicinam transilieret. Eunuchum fuisse cum alia multa, tum facies indicant: & quod, Oporino teste, feminas prorsus despexit. Fatetur etiam in Præfatione quadam se percussorem fuisse, & aliquoties ob id, (vel etiam ob alia) in carcerem coniectum. Si examines ea, quæ D[ominus] Ioannes Oporinus vir omnium iudicio optimus apud eum biennio, quo eum secutus est, relicta domi vxore, (Quo admirabilis doctrinæ, quam iactitabat, particeps fieret. Etenim persuaserat ei, se sex mensibus artem Medicam totam perfectè traditurum esse) vidit, quo fuerit ingenio egregiè cognosces. Præter mirabilem faciendi Medicinam promptitudinem & felicitatem, nullam, inquit, in eo neque pietatem neque eruditionem animaduertere potui. Et mox. Adeo erat totis diebus & noctibus, dum ego ipsi familiariter per biennium ferè conuixi, ebrietati & crapulæ deditus, vt vix vnam atque alteram horam sobrium eum reperire licuerit. Item, cum initiò fuisset abstemius, ita dein bibere vinum didicit, vt totas noctes Rusticis plenas lagenas propinando superare ausus fuerit. Digito tantum gulæ immisso crapula sese liberans, & rursum, tanquam ne guttam quidem vnquam hausisset, potionibus indulgens. Item, Noctu, inquit, toto, quo ego [p. 239] ei conuixi, tempore nunquam se exuit: id quod ego ebrietati ascribebam. Plerumque enim non nisi ebrius, ad extremum noctem domum ibat cubitum, atque ita, vt erat indutus, adiuncto sibi gladio suo, quem Carnificis cuiusdam fuisse iactabat, in stratum sese conijciebat: ac sæpè media nocte surgens, per cubiculum nudo gladio ita insaniebat, ita crebris ictibus & pauimentum & parietes impetebat, vt ego non semel mihi caput iri amputatum metuerem. Item, Pecunia sæpè ita erat destitutus, vt ne obulum quidem ei superesse scirem, crastino statim rursum crumenam habere se benè instructam ostentabat: vt non rarò admiratus fuerim, vnde ea ei fuisset suppeditata. Item, Orare eum nunquam neque vidi neque audiui: neque curabat Ecclesiastica sacra, sed doctrina Euangelica, quæ tum apud nos excoli incipiebat, & à nostris concionatoribus seriò vrgebatur, non multum curata, se aliquando Lutherum & Papam, non minus, quam nunc Galenum & Hippocr[atem] redacturum in ordinem minabatur. Neque enim eorum, qui hactenus in scripturam sacram scripsissent, siue veteres siue Recentiores, quenquam scripturæ nucleum rectè eruisse, sed circa corticem & quasi membranam tantum hærere. Hæc partim ex Oporini literis excerpere, partim ex eius sermonibus annotare libuit. Quæ ad Pharmacorum præparationes & curationes spectant, suo postea loco referentur. Eadem fermè scripsit ad me vir pietate & doctrina clarissimus D[ominus] Henricus Bullingerus,[m 5] qui eum Tiguri nouit, vbi aliquandiu vixit. Vt sui vbique similem fuisse perspicias, ex huius etiam viri nunquam satis laudati literis aliquid adijciam. Contuli cum eo, inquit, semel & iterum de rebus varijs etiam Theologicis vel Religionis. Sed ex omnibus eius sermonibus pietatis nihil intelligere licuit, Magiæ verò, quam ille nescio quam fingebat, plurimum.
[p. 240] Si eum vidisses, non Medicum dixisses, sed Aurigam: & sodalitio Aurigarum mirificè delectabatur. Ergo dum viueret hîc in diuersorio Ciconiæ, obseruabat aduentantes in hoc hospitium Aurigas: & cum his homo spurcus vorabat & perpotab: ita nonnunquam vino sopitus, vt se in proximum scamnum collocaret, crapulam que fœdam edormiret. Deinde interiectis quibusdam de habitu & vestitu eius, qualia Oporinus etiam habet, sic concludit. Breuiter sordidus erat per omnia & homo spurcus. Rarò aut nunquam ingrediebatur cœtus sacros, ac uisus est Deum & res Diuinas leuiter curare. Si non tibi hæc sufficiunt, lege ipsius defensiones, quæ tibi occasionem plura cogitandi offerent. Si laborem hunc quoque refugis, considera solum, quibus se ipsum Titulis ornarit. Abundè namque ingeniunm suum ea re prodidit. Cum vocatus esset Philippus, (Nomen familiæ, si vllum habuit, suspicor Bombast fuisse) vocauit ipse deinde se ipsum Theophrastum, Paracelsum, (à loco, vt opinor, in quo natus fuit, deducens) Hohenhemium, (quod eadem occasione videtur ab eo fictum) Aureolum, Principem & Monarcham omnium scientiarum & artium. Non semel hoc se ipsum nomine ornat in libro de tinctura. Et in Paragr[ano] “Ego,” inquit. “Monarcha sum atque ero. Me sequi vos Auicenna, Galene, Parisienses, Montispessulani, Sueui, Misnenses, Colonienses, Viennenses, Maria, Insulæ, Italia, Dalmatia, Sarmatia, Græcia, Athenæ, Arabes, Iudæi, (Mirum quod non & Garamantas, Indos, Anglos, Suecos & Danos adiunxit) cogimini, non autem vos ego sequi debeo. Corrigiæ seu annuli calceorum meorum plus norunt artis Medicæ, quam Galenus, Aristoteles & qui eum sequuntur, sunt tanquam spuma superiure bono: quæ naturam Iuris sapit, sed felibus & canibus debetur.” Sed vt sinamus eum Medicum fuisse Chirurgum multis alijs felicio- [p. 241] rem, an ideo damnare, quos nunquam intellexit, debuit? Et quî potuit homo ebrius, diem cum maxima parte noctis cum Rusticis, Aurigis, Idiotis alijs, compotando consumens, reliquam cum Laruis & Dæmonibus depugnando transigens, postridie serò admodum hesterna grauatus crapula surgens, illorum virorum scripta intelligere, abstrusasq́ue sententias eruere, quas omnes alij intentissima cura, perpetuo labore, continuoq́ue studio peruestigantes vix inuenire cognoscereque potuerunt? Quæ deinde causa eum mouit, oro te, vt Theophrastum se appellaret? Vel propter sermonis elegantiam & puritatem se ita voluit nominari, (quod alteri illi Aristotelis discipulo contigit) vel certè propter rerum Diuinarum cognitionem, & disserendi de eisdem peritiam. Hoc à nemine affimari poterit: nisi Deum intellexerit Tartareum, cuius caussam sanè egit perquam studiose.
Ad orationem quod attinet, Linguæ Græcæ rudis & ignarus prorsus fuit: Latinæ vix prima initia nouit: Quam ex maternis exugere vberibus debuit, non satis tenuit. Tam enim scripsit inconditè, tam barbarè, tam confuse, tam inscitè, tam ineptè, vt nullum existimem extare scriptorem Germanum, cuius inscitiam & infantiam ille non infinitis modis superarit. Maneat ergo Cacophrastus, vt se ipsum in Paragrano suo nominat. Maneat Ferreolus, Plumbeolus, Lutulentulus, Tartareolus: Sint ipsius discipuli sani, prudentes, aurei, argenti, plumbei: tantum ne contaminent, inquinent, ac foædent, execrabilemq́ue reddant nobis artem cœlitus datam & concessam.
Fvrnivs. Theologica Paracelsi porrò facilè cauebo. Nec superstitiosis remedijs ac Magicis curationibus imponi mihi post hac patiar. Quippe [p. 242] impium esse nunc iam video, quod aliquotiens iubet morbos ex incantatione & superstitione natos (etiam si hoc modo nasci possent) contraria incantatione & superstitione curare. Vigesimosexto Martij. Anno millesimo quingentesimo septuagesimo primo.
Τῷ θεῷ μόνῳ δόξα,
- In margin: Paracel[sus] de Astrolog[ia] sententia.
- In margin: Parac[elsus] se ipsum improbè mendacij paßim accusat.
- In margin: Epilogus.
- In margin: D[ominus] Iohan[nes] Crato. Cæs[areae] Maiestatis Medicus.
- In margin: D[ominus] Henricus Bullingerus.
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 17 March 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.
On the power and efficacy of the heavens and the stars.
Furnius: I have never held this art in high esteem, since it has been ridiculed by philosophers, rejected by theologians, condemned by emperors, and ignored by all intelligent people. Even our own Theophrastus often criticized it and never fully learned it, as it seems. He only recommends a version of astrology that is Greek or Ptolemaic. Indeed, he threatens to discard astronomy and the art of calendars in his Paragrano. "The stars of the heavens," he writes in the same work, "do not imprint themselves on human beings, but God made the stars of man so that they might imitate heavenly things." Elsewhere, he denies that reason and prudence, which govern us, come from God, because reason, created by God, does not submit to the heavens, but rather commands them. I also recall citing a passage from the book "On Fools," in which he affirms the uncertainty and imperceptibility of astrology. He also denies that the faults of the stars can be attributed to them in his "Præsagijs." Has not the devil insinuated himself shrewdly into astronomy, so that he might sell himself as a substitute for the stars and ground his judgments in them? He is so skilled at hiding himself that he has remained at a high price until now. And he has inspired this notion so subtly in the minds of the wise that they attribute things to the heavens, houses, aspects, and conjunctions. These and similar arguments prove that he does not subscribe to astrology as much as most people think.
Erastus: If he had remained steadfast in his opinion, we would have praised him. However, I tell you that he has shamelessly and impudently contradicted almost every opinion presented to him. By citing several passages on the subject, I will show you that you should not believe him in anything, as he continually accuses himself of falsehood and deceit. Indeed, in the same book, he completely advocates astrology, but only contends that spirits exist near the stars that attach themselves to a person at birth and lead them wherever they want to go. Therefore, he asserts that these spirits must be connected with the astrologer's knowledge of the individual's horoscope in order to divine correctly. He seems to have read the detestable fabrications of Iamblichus and other Platonists and drawn his own perverse conclusions from them. He therefore establishes that there are five parts or species of astronomy, among which he places magic and necromancy, all of which are natural, lawful, and true. However, on the next page, he expressly states that only the infernal spirits fulfill these roles. Has there ever been anyone since the creation of the world who has exercised a more impure and dizzying spirit? He now claims that the stars only incline and soon coerce, that they do not cause death but only madness, and that a little later, he claims that the Lord and Ruler of life and death kills and brings pestilence. He asserts that craftsmen exist in the planets who teach all the arts, except for justice and theology. In other places, he claims to use reason to build and exercise other arts. He claims that the heavens are like humans, they love, hate, and are angry, but they never harm anyone unless they are offended. We have already mentioned his foolishness about craftsmen above. In some places, he claims to have been made a physician by God, not by the heavens, although the art comes from God, not from the heavens. In other places, he asserts that he was taught by the stars. In some places, he even acknowledges the Devil as his teacher. I would rather do anything than transcribe his nonsense. I don't think there is anyone under heaven who could endure such monstrous and contradictory statements without becoming angry. Therefore, let that profane Tenebrio with his astrology go to hell and offer his poisons to his disciples who will bring eternal death; let him not offer them to the faithful. However, since our initial discussion has lasted longer than I anticipated, it is time to bring it to a close. I undertook to declare that God alone is the creator of the universe and that all created things cannot be otherwise changed by all created faculties, whether universal or individual, than according to the power inherent in the matter that was given in creation. Furthermore, I have clearly demonstrated that this power, which others call a seminal principle, although not unique in any given thing (and therefore individual things are affected and changed differently by different agents), cannot be transferred or transformed into action without motion and alteration by any created power. I have also taught that what is sudden and without inherent power or without sudden successions is miraculous. And I have shown that miracles can only be brought about by that power which inserts new powers into matter, that is, the power that creates. After this, I have also proven that miracles cannot be effected by natural properties, or by the power of the stars, or by the vices of the soul or the imagination, or by the powers of the demons born in Tartarus, or by the works of medicine, or by any power of magic. From these things, it is clear that all remedies that act above their own and innate faculties of nature or promise anything are vain, false, superstitious, impious, to be avoided and detested. Therefore, all these things, collected, prepared, formed, painted, sculpted, written, hung, buried, thrown away, used within the body, or in any other way, if they are believed to attain some power or achieve something more than what nature provides, they seriously wound conscience, undermine piety, and defile and discredit the good creatures of God. They are contemptuous to God and should therefore be avoided, shunned, spit upon, and detested by all pious people, and abandoned by Paracelsus and his followers who approve of such things. It is clear that words, voices, signs, characters, figures, and images are signs of a covenant made with demons and a clearly revealed means of increasing the power of things or performing miracles on their own. Those who are invited by such things do what they can to hasten their own eternal destruction. The handling of these things has forced us to expose the incredible impiety, horrendous blasphemy, and monstrous recklessness of the most wicked Tenebrio, who invades and tries to tear apart everything that is good, true, and holy with unprecedented rage, so that even the most imprudent among all mortals may be more easily warned against him. All attest that his books prove him to be the most deceitful and shameless impostor, all except for those who knew him even slightly.
On the life and morals of Paracelsus.
Indeed, the excellent Emperor Ferdinand, who was far removed from slander and for just reasons, used to be in the habit of adorning him with praises, as I have heard from the most excellent and erudite gentleman, John Crato, physician to the Imperial Majesty. He led diseases into his principles and teachers of Tartars, as they seem to be of Tartar origin and almost everything he wrote was dug out from the depths of Tartarus. This is evidenced by the fact that he used to get heated and agitated like a certain Pythian prophetess when dictating, surely inspired by a demon that suggested those monstrous wagons of insults and delusions that a sane person could never have thought up. This was often related by Oporinus, his trustworthy amanuensis for two years. He also said that he never approached to explain his mysteries unless he was well-drunk and that he used to spout his imaginings with his hands on the hilt of a sword, standing in the center of a hypocaust, which he had inflated with his own divinity, as if it were a lodging for the spirit that is usually enclosed in glass and gives responses to bewitched humans. He surpassed inconstancy, impudence, recklessness, and prodigious impiety all the Arians, Photinians, Mohammedans, and all the heretics and Tartars. Would you consider him, due to his piety, to be ranked above the chaste authors Galen and Hippocrates, who were ethnic men and thus ignorant of true piety? They have failed because they were not instructed by anyone. But he, well-instructed, willing, knowledgeable, prudent, taught, wrote, and emphasized those things out of mere petulance and desire to innovate, which they would hardly have dared to think of even if they had a spark of this divine light. But let us end this now and proceed to what is consequent, and let us consider with equal diligence how elegantly and splendidly he philosophized.
Furnius. I beg of you, in a greater manner, that if you have anything further to add on the life of this man, you would do so in the form of an appendix. For I suspect that you know something more, since you were both born in the same country.
Erastus. I know little good, but a lot of bad. I will list some of his treatments, which I learned from very trustworthy and reputable men in the following passages. Now I will touch on some things that are more relevant here. I hardly believe he was from Switzerland. For hardly has that region produced such a monster. If it did, it did not foster it for long. Certainly, there is not a single person in all of Switzerland who was related to him by blood or any other ties. He seems to have been a son of the land or Tartary, like a certain Merlin. He calls himself a hermit and wants to be seen as noble. But in the hermitage of the Swiss, there are no Paracelsus, no Hohenheims, no Bombasts, and, in short, no nobles or commoners who recognize him as related by blood. I have heard that a foreign tutor lived there once, and where he was born, in a place called "high nest," (it must have been a bad nest from which such a bad bird was born.) Perhaps this is why he named himself Paracelsus. The composition of this word is admirable, and so is the author. He writes somewhere that his father lived for 14 years in Carinthia or nearby regions. In this place, I was told that his testicles were cut off by a soldier while he was feeding the geese: Then, when he became older, he went to Spain, where he was first initiated into magic and learned chemistry. When he noticed that he was wasting his time and oil in this exercise, he switched to medicine. He was a eunuch, as his face indicates, and, according to Oporinus's testimony, he utterly despised women. He also admits in a certain preface that he was a murderer and was sometimes thrown into prison for it (or for other reasons). If you examine the things that the excellent man John Oporinus left at his house for two years, in which he followed him and left his wife at home (for he had convinced him that he would perfectly teach him the whole medical art in six months), you will find out how excellent his talents were, apart from his remarkable speed and success in making medicine. I could not perceive any piety or erudition in him, he says. And then. He was so given to drunkenness and debauchery day and night, during the almost two years that I lived with him on familiar terms, that he could hardly be found sober for even an hour or two. Initially abstemious, he learned to drink wine so well that he dared to surpass Rustics by drinking full pitchers all night long. He would only relieve his gluttony by putting his finger down his throat, and then indulged in drinking as if he had never taken a sip. He never undressed at night, he said, during the entire time I lived with him, which I attributed to his drunkenness. For he often went home drunk, only to go to bed at the end of the night, throwing himself into bed with his sword attached, which he boasted belonged to a certain Executioner. And often in the middle of the night, rising up, he raved about the room with his naked sword, striking the floor and walls so often that I feared for my head being cut off more than once. He was often so destitute of money that I did not know that he had even a penny, but he would immediately show me a well-stocked purse the next day. So I have often wondered where he got it from. I never saw or heard him pray, and he did not care about the Church's sacred things, but the Gospel doctrine, which was beginning to be cultivated among us and was being seriously urged by our preachers, did not interest him much. He threatened that he would one day reduce Luther and the Pope to order no less than Galen and Hippocrates. For he did not think that anyone, whether ancient or modern, who had written on Holy Scripture, had rightly grasped its essence, but had only clung to the bark and almost the membrane. I have chosen to excerpt these things from Oporinus's letters and to make notes from his speeches. What pertains to the preparation of drugs and treatments will be discussed in its proper place. The same was written to me by the man of piety and learning, the illustrious Henry Bullinger, who knew him in Zurich, where he lived for a while. To show that he was similar to himself everywhere, I will add something from the letters of this never sufficiently praised man. "I have consulted with him once and again on various matters, even theological or religious ones. But I could not understand anything of his talks on piety, but much on the magic that he was inventing, I do not know what."
If you had seen him, you wouldn't have called him a doctor, but a coachman: and he greatly enjoyed the company of coachmen. So, while he lived in the inn at Stork's, he observed the coachmen who came to the inn, and would eat and drink with them like a filthy person. Sometimes, he would become so drunk that he would fall asleep on the nearest bench, snoring disgustingly. Then, after some remarks about his appearance and clothing, which are also mentioned by Oporinus, he concludes, "In short, he was dirty in every way and a filthy man. He rarely, if ever, entered sacred gatherings and appeared to care little for God and divine matters. If these things are not sufficient for you, read his own defenses, which will give you more to think about. And if you still refuse this effort, consider only the titles with which he adorned himself. He abundantly revealed his own talent in this regard. When he was called Philippus (if he had a family name, I suspect it was Bombast), he then called himself Theophrastus, Paracelsus (deriving it, I think, from the place where he was born), Hohenheim (which seems to have been fabricated for the same reason), Aureolus, Prince and Monarch of all sciences and arts. He adorns himself with this name more than once in his book on tinctures. And in Paragranum, he says, "I am a monarch, and I will be one. You, Avicenna, Galen, Parisians, Montpellierans, Swabians, Meisseners, Cologneans, Viennese, Marians, Islanders, Italians, Dalmatians, Sarmatians, Greeks, Athenians, Arabs, Jews (It is surprising that he did not include the Garamantes, Indians, English, Swedes, and Danes), are obliged to follow me, not me to follow you. The straps or rings of my shoes know more about the medical art than Galen, Aristotle, and those who follow him; they are like foam on top of good wine: it tastes of the nature of law, but it is given to cats and dogs." But let us allow that he was a physician or surgeon, more fortunate than many others; should he be condemned for not understanding those he did not know? And who, being drunk all day and night, consuming it with Rustics, Coachmen, Idiots, and others, and fighting with Larvae and Demons for the rest of the time, could, the next day, being heavily burdened with yesterday's drinking, understand the writings of those men, and extract obscure sentences, which all others, studying with intense care, constant labor, and continuous diligence, could scarcely find and recognize? What then was the reason that he called himself Theophrastus, I ask you? Was it because he wanted to be named for the elegance and purity of his speech (which happened to that other disciple of Aristotle), or certainly because of his knowledge of divine things and his expertise in discussing them? No one can affirm this except he understood the Tartarean God, whose cause he certainly pursued very diligently.
As far as public speaking is concerned, he was completely unskilled and ignorant of the Greek language, and barely knew the basics of Latin. He failed to extract enough knowledge from his mother tongue, and as a result, he wrote so poorly, so barbarously, so confusingly, so ignorantly, and so ineptly, that I do not believe there is any German writer whose ignorance and infancy he has not surpassed in countless ways. Therefore, let him remain Cacophrastus, as he calls himself in his preface. Let him remain Ferreolus, Plumbeolus, Lutulentulus, Tartareolus. Let his students be wise, prudent, golden, silver, and leaden, but let them not contaminate, pollute, or defile the art that has been given to us from heaven and granted to us, and make it detestable. I will easily avoid Paracelsus's theological teachings. Furthermore, I will not allow myself to be deceived by superstitious remedies or magical cures from now on. Indeed, I now see it as impious that sometimes diseases are commanded to be cured by incantation and superstition (even if they could be born this way) through the use of contrary incantation and superstition. March 26th, 1571. To God alone be the glory.